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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China steps up massive clampdown in Tibet

March 5, 2009

Tibet Custom (UK)
March 4 2009

The Chinese state mouthpiece "Xinhua News Agency" on 4 February 2009 released a report concerning the stepping up of security restriction in "Tibet Autonomous Region" ("TAR") and non -"TAR" regions of Tibet. According to Xinhua report, the Security Department of the Central Government of China released an official paper titled "The Key Task To Improve The Overall Security Situation in 2009". The paper spelled out 33 Points to combat security threats. Out of the 33 Points, 15 points dealt on security concerns in the "TAR" and "Non-TAR" regions of Tibet.

The paper listed "Three Categories of People" as the most potent threat to overall social stability and security inside Tibet. They are as under:

* Those individuals who took part in the last year's protest and who were later released
* Those individuals who illegally left and re-entered Tibet
* Those monks and nuns who were expelled from monasteries and nunneries

According to Xinhua News Agency report, close surveillance, restriction and inspection were to be maintained on those Tibetans fell under the "Three Categories of People" in all parts of Tibet. The paper endorsed the continuation of "Strike Hard" (Ch: Yanda) campaign in Lhasa city for an indefinite period of time. On the most significant note, "TAR" and non -"TAR" regions of Tibet were singled out as the principle target of the "Key Task" in the drive to maintain high level of security presence and social stability in China.

Similarly on 4 February 2009, the Security Department of the Central government in Beijing issued terse order to regional government of "TAR" to step up unprecedented security restriction and clampdown on any kind of untoward protest and demonstration should they take place. The order issued by the Central government is significant as the first anniversary of the last year's pan Tibet protests and demonstrations draw in.

As reported in Xinhua News Agency, stern orders were issued to step up the restriction, surveillance and monitoring in the Tibetan areas. Numerous check posts have been installed on major roads, highways, streets and alleyways. There has been intense restriction on the movement of Tibetan people. According to many sources, temporary police and military bases have mushroomed up at important and strategic locations inside Tibet where protests and demonstrations previously took place.

On 25 February 2009, the traditional custom of going for religious visits to important monasteries was curtailed. Strict ban was imposed on get together celebrations and associations during the Tibetan New Year festivities.

In many ways, Tibetan people were not able to celebrate normal New Year, in what appears to be an anticipatory clampdown on any kinds of protest and demonstration as the anniversary of the last year's protest demonstration inside Tibet.


A file photo showing 63 combat motor vehicles issued to the "Tibet Autonomous Region" ("TAR") to deal with the protest and demonstration inside Tibet
For instance, on 2 March 2009, the central government in Beijing issued 63 combat vehicles to Lhasa Public Security Bureau (PSB) Department with a directive that the 63 combat vehicles were to be distributed amongst the most sensitive and protests prone areas inside "TAR". Earlier the Chinese government issued special combat equipments to Lhasa Security personnel such as special gloves with sharp nails, tear gas, batons and laser torch to deal with protesters and demonstrators on the streets. Moreover, the stipulated 42-day "winter Strike Hard" or "Yanda" campaign declared since 18 January 2008 is currently underway in Lhasa city.

Similarly, the non - "TAR" regions of ethnographic Tibetan areas such as Gansu, Sichuan and Yunan and Qinghai reel under intense clout of security restriction and repression. Unprecedented number of security and military check posts had been set up on major cross roads, highways and important streets.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expresses its utmost concern at the imposition of severe restriction and repression inside Tibet. The centre urges the international community to pressure the Chinese government to respect the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people and their rights to self determination.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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